Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis

The Blind Boy

This is a fable about a blind boy that provides wonderful illustration of system analysis. One fine morning in streets of Hyderabad (India) a blind boy sat on the steps of the building with a hat by his feet and held up a sign which said:

Sign: I am blind, please help me!!!

There were people passing by the sight however there were only few coins in the hat, a man was walking by looked at the blind boy and took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign turned it around and wrote some words and he then put the sign back in the same spot so that everyone who walked by will see the new sign with new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up with coins and now a lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.

That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his foot steps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning?

The man replied "yes"

Blind Boy: "What did you write?"

The man said, "I only wrote the truth, I said what you said but in a different way"

What he had written was:

"Today is a Beautiful day and I cannot see it"


Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing? Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply told people to help by putting some money in the hat and the second sign told people that they were able to enjoy the beauty of the day, but the blind boy could not enjoy it because he was blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective? There are least two lessons we can learn from this simple story: "Be thankful for what you have. Someone else has less help where you can"

Be creative and innovative, think differently to solve problems and there is always a better way to tackle the situation in system. Identify the problem, understanding situation and creating a human impact is key in systems analysis. Do not focus on the problem instead, use the creativity for problem solving.

These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.

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